Matt Irie’s deceptive grid paintings, at Ebersmoore | Art Review | Chicago Reader

Matt Irie’s deceptive grid paintings, at Ebersmoore 

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Super Croft detail by Matt Irie

Super Croft detail by Matt Irie

Matt Irie's acrylic-on-panel works suggest Mondrian fed amphetamines and dropped into Tron. Irie's solo show, "You Are the Vanishing Point," consists mostly of paintings of intricate, overlapping grids that feel like they go on forever. That feeling derives sometimes from a painting's size—his Super Croft, for example, is eight feet long and four feet high. But it also has to do with the sense that the edges of the images are arbitrary. You could be looking at a small, magnified segment of a computer circuit or an aerial view of a tangled, futuristic city that extends everywhere in every direction. As you move closer, though, the sense of infinite extension gives way. You can see that Irie's massive, imposing grids are composed of imperfect brush strokes, bulbous roundings rather than razor edges. The wavering lines are a comforting surprise. The show's title may sound like a threat or a portentous declaration, but it's ultimately affirmational—like a Sesame Street jingle. The deeper you go, the more you see that at its heart each grid is a personal fillip, a series of appealing blobs.


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